Shepard retiring as Indiana chief justice

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Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from the bench in March 2012. Shepard, who joined the Indiana Supreme Court in 1985 and became chief justice in 1987, is the longest serving state court chief justice in the United States.

Shepard has authored nearly 900 opinions and 68 law review articles. He co-created the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity with Gov. Frank O'Bannon in 1997 to help minority and educationally and economically disadvantaged students succeed in law school. In 2007, Shepard was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to co-chair the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform with former Gov. Joe Kernan. Their report on how to streamline government became known as the "Kernan-Shepard Report."

Shepard has also served as adjunct professor at Yale Law School — where he received his law degree in 1972 — as well as at the Maurer School of Law in Bloomington and Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

The Evansville native has been honored by his hometown — he is the inspiration for the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp.'s Randall T. Shepard Academy for Law and Social Justice, and the Evansville Bar Association recently restored and named the Randall T. Shepard Courtroom in the Old Vanderburgh Courthouse. Shepard is married and has one daughter.

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, which is chaired by Shepard, will begin interviewing candidates in February. The governor will select the next justice.



  • Inquiring minds want to know
    Justice Shepard is quite young as far as judges go. I was before Richard Cudahay last month -- over 80. A setting federal judge in Kansas is over 100. Shepard is Bill and Hillary Clinton's age -- went to school with them, in fact. So what does he have planned for the rest of his life?
  • A Brilliant Jurist
    Chief Justice Shepard is a brilliant jurist. He has served the state of Indiana honorably and with dignity. He is thoughtful and fair. The Judicial Nominating Comission has a tough job ahead of it. I have practiced law in Indiana for 23 years. With all due respect to my fellow attorneys, I cannot think of a single judge or lawyer who can fill Shepard's shoes.

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    1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

    2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

    3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

    4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

    5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues